100 signatures reached
To: Brighton and Hove Council
Stop Criminalising the Homeless and Allow Due Democratic Process to Take Place
Allow the debate of PSPO's to go to Brighton and Hove Council Policy and Resources Committee.
Why is this important?
On the 6th April 2017 a petition with over 5000 signatures was presented to Brighton and Hove Council. Over 3000 signatures were signed on the streets of Brighton and 2200 online. The petition was against the implementation of PSPO’s. PSPO’s give Council workers and the Police the power to give Homeless people and Travellers an on the spot £100 fine for occupying a tent, vehicle or caravan in 12 locations across the city. Failure to pay the fine can lead to prosecution and a further £1000 fine. People breaching the order must provide a name address and date of birth. Failure to positively identify someone can lead to arrest. So effectively you can be fined, arrested and prosecuted for being homeless and having no money to pay for the ‘crime’ of being homeless.
Brighton and Hove council voted for the petition to be noted but not to be forwarded to the Policy and Resources committee for further debate. Usually any petition with over 1250 signatures is debated at committee. Despite opposition to this legislation from Liberty, Equality and Human Rights Commission, local charities, specialist lawyers and the local community, Councillors blocked due democratic process by voting against the legislation being debated by the Committee that decided to implement it. It appears that Brighton and Hove Council want to sweep away homeless people and Travellers from our city through criminalisation and attempting to block any debate or opposition to the legislation. This will not work, it cannot work and we are standing against it.
PSPO’s should only be used to target specific behaviours and not specific groups. This statement has been echoed by Sussex Police as well as human rights lawyers. This legislation is a direct assault on the homeless community and Gypsies and Travellers. PSPO’s have been misused in this context as living in a tent, caravan or vehicle are not anti-social activities in themselves.
Article 8, of the Human rights act the right to a private and family life, is being infringed by this use of PSPO’s. Under the European convention on Human Rights, all public bodies owe a duty to facilitate the Gypsy way of life. This legislation is an attack on the Gypsy way of life and therefore in breach of Equality Duty and The European Framework Convention for the protection of Minorities.
This policy is unlawful and need to be brought back to committee to be looked at again as it stands Brighton and Hove Council have blocked any further debate.